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A boy was bullied for making his own Tennessee Vol's shirt. Now it's the school's official logo.
via Laura Snyder / Facebook and University of Tennessee / Twitter

Jerry Seinfeld once perfectly described the arbitrary nature of being a sports fan, saying:

"Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify, because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city. You're actually rooting for the clothes, when you get right down to it."

Seinfeld is right in saying that being an obsessive sports fan can be a little silly, but he misses the wonderful feeling of community created among people who root for the same clothes.


Over the weekend, fans of the University of Tennessee were a perfect example of the great things that can happen when fans get together.

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Recently, an unnamed boy at Altamonte Elementary School in Altamonte Springs, Florida, told his teacher, Laura Snyder, that he wanted to wear a Tennessee Volunteers shirt for the school's college colors day.

"This particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn't have one," she wrote on Facebook. "We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear.

On college colors day, the boy proudly wrote his orange shirt and then made it "official" by drawing a U of T logo on a piece of paper and attaching it to his orange shirt.

via Laura Snyder / Facebook

Unfortunately, the child's clever display of ad-hoc ingenuity didn't sit well with some of the girls at his school.

"After lunch, he came back to my room, put his head on on his desk and was crying. Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn't even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. He was DEVASTATED," the teacher wrote.

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The amazing teacher decided to buy her student a Tennessee Volunteers shirt and reached out to her followers on social media to see if anyone had any UT connections to make things "a little extra special."

The post went viral among Volunteer fans and UT sent a care package to her class room to support the young fan.

via Laura Snyder / Facebook

"My student was so amazed at all the goodies in the box. He proudly put on the jersey and one of the many hats in the box. All who saw had either goosebumps or tears while we explained that he had inspired and touched the lives of so many people … My student got to pass out UT swag to his classmates. They were ecstatic!!" the teacher wrote.

The moving gesture by the school didn't stop there. The team used the boy's design to create an official UT shirt with proceeds going to STOMP Out Bullying, a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to eradicating bullying of all forms.

So many people went to the site to buy a shirt, the site crashed.

The gesture from the school and her son's teacher was too much for the boy's mother.

"I am overwhelmed by the love I feel from this extended community and the pride I feel for my son and for being a VFL," she wrote.

"Every comment, item sent, and action taken on behalf of my son will never be forgotten and hopefully will serve as inspiration for him throughout his life."

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

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The show must go on… and more power to her.

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